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Marie Parche

Science 4
th

5-5-14

PLANARIA LAB and RESEARCH REPORT
April 2014

PROBLEM: Which section of a planarian will regenerate first, the anterior, mid section
or posterior?

HYPOTHESIS: If a planarian is trisected, then the anterior will regenerate first.

THEORY:
Planaria are flatworms that can reproduce sexually. These creatures are
hermaphrodites, which means that they have both male and female reproductive organs.
When conditions are favorable any two planaria can come together and exchange genetic
material. Both planaria will then have fertilized eggs and will lay them shortly
afterwards.
When conditions are less than ideal, planaria can reproduce asexually. In asexual
reproduction the planarian splits itself into two or three pieces. The planarian will either
tail drop (have the tail cling to a surface and the front of the body move, splitting
themselves apart), or they will split themselves into multiple pieces. These pieces will
regenerate, leaving genetically identical planaria.
Planaria reproduce asexually by regeneration. When a planarian reproduces
asexually, the neoblasts move to where the two pieces were split apart. The neoblast cells
are 30% of all cells, and they are totipotent. They receive signals, which come from a
brain like structure in the head called the cerebral ganglean, and start the regeneration
process. They have polarity, so they have a head-tail orientation, which helps them
navigate to the parts of the body in need of regeneration. When neoblasts clump together
it is called a blastima. This will create new tissue growth and heal the planariam. Since
the instructions for regenerating comes from the brain like structure from the head called
the cerebral ganglean, I think that the anterior piece will regenerate first.

DATA

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Parche, Marie Monday, May 5, 2014 7:28:00 PM Pacic Daylight Time 70:56:81:a9:87:17
CONCLUSION: In this lab we trisected a planarian to find out weather the anterior, mid
section, or posterior would regenerate first. I hypothesized that the anterior piece would
regenerate first. My data shows that by day 10 the mid section was fully regenerated,
unlike the anterior and the posterior, which still had pieces missing. In our class 33% of
mid sections were the first regenerated, and in the 7
th
grade 49% of the mid sections
regenerated first. In conclusion planaria will regenerate when trisected and the mid
section regenerated first. My hypothesis was correct for our class, but not for our group
or grade.

ANALYSIS: Our results were consistent with the grades results but not with our classs
results. In our group the midsection regenerated first, which means that our results were
consistent with the majoritys. The experiment was difficult to control in some areas, as
in the condition of the water, finding out which pieces of the planarian were which, and
the condition of the flatworm to begin with. To make the experiment more reliable I
would make sure that the planaria were out in the light for the same amount of time and
spent the same amount of time in the dark, giving the different samples an equal chance
of regenerating. I would also label the different quadrants of the dish anterior, midsection,
and posterior, and put the corresponding pieces in each section of the dish so that we
would know for sure which one is which.
There are similarities and differences when it comes to planaria and humans,
especially in our stem cells. Planaria and humans both start out as totipotent zygotes, but
over time, we loose our totipotency, whereas the planaria do not. They remain totipotent
for the rest of their life. When planaria become injured this lets them heal incredibly fast
and under almost any circumstances. Humans, since we have lost out totipotency cannot
always heal ourselves, this is why research with totipotent stem cells has been introduced,
to see if we can help heal wounds and diseases that we usually cannot.
We have started conducting experiments and research on totipotent stem cells, but
there is a rising controversy </6;=8/ 2> .9/ >;6. .9;. ?91@/ 861/-.18.8 8.=4A1-B .9/
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BIBLIOGRAPHY:

Seifarth, Wolfgang. "Marine Flatworms of the World! - Introduction." Marine Flatworms
of the World! - Introduction. Wolfgang Seifarth, 26 Apr. 2002. Web. 05 May 2014.

"Planarians.org - Home to Flatworms!" Planarians.org - Home to Flatworms!N.p., n.d.
Web. 05 May 2014.

Genetic Science Learning Center. "Print-and-Go Index." Teach.Genetics 5 May
2014 <http://teach.genetics.utah.edu/content/>

Cyranoski, David. "Stem-cell Pioneer Banks on Future Therapies."Nature.com. Nature
Publishing Group, 07 Aug. 2012. Web. 05 May 2014.
Parche, Marie Monday, May 5, 2014 7:28:00 PM Pacic Daylight Time 70:56:81:a9:87:17